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or ern

[urn] /ɜrn/
Origin of erne
before 1000; Middle English ern, arn, Old English earn; cognate with Old High German arn (German Aar), Middle Low German arn(e); akin to Lithuanian erẽlis eagle, Greek órnīs bird


an adjective suffix occurring with names of directions:
northern; southern.
Middle English, Old English -erne; cognate with Old High German -rōni (as in nordrōni northern) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ern
Historical Examples
  • "I'll not be good company, ern," but Roger's voice was wistful.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • ern, don't you remember the pretty little girl who used to play with us?

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • Say, ern, before I read the mail, I've got some news for you.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • ern, you hold his hands above his head while I cut off that pants leg.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • "Look here, ern, you've got to straighten this business out," insisted Roger.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • "Don't take it so hard, ern," I said, trying to comfort him.

  • ern is waiting for you there, or perhaps he will meet you in chapel.

    Battling the Clouds Captain Frank Cobb
  • Kate laid for 'em just this side of the creek and let 'ern chase him back to his tree.

    Somewhere in Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson
  • ern, a very small boy, comes through the trees into the glade.

    Second Plays A. A. Milne
  • "Boss, we'll never git 'ern back, not 'n a hundred years," declared Moze.

British Dictionary definitions for ern


another name for the (European) sea eagle
Word Origin
Old English earn; related to Old Norse örn eagle, Old High German aro eagle, Greek ornis bird


a river in N central Republic of Ireland, rising in County Cavan and flowing north across the border, through Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough Erne and then west to Donegal Bay. Length: about 96 km (60 miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ern



"sea eagle," from Old English earn "eagle," a common Germanic word (cf. Old High German arn, German Aar, Middle Dutch arent, Old Norse örn, Gothic ara "eagle"), from PIE root *or- "great bird, eagle" (cf. Greek ornis "bird," Old Church Slavonic orilu, Lithuanian erelis, Welsh eryr "eagle"). The Germanic word also survives in the first element of old Germanic names such as Arnold and Arthur.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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